On October 24, 2023, fixed-wing warplanes believed to be Russian fired multiple missiles at Ein Sheib Water Station to the north of Ein Sheib village in Sahl al-Rouj in western rural Idlib governorate, injuring one girl who sustained multiple bruises. The area is under the control of armed opposition factions and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) notes that the water station is out of commission, and was used previously as a shelter for internally displaced persons (IDPs) coming from Jabal al-Zawiya. The shelter was targeted on August 22, 2023, in a bombardment that killed multiple civilians at the time.
Through this and similar attacks, Russian forces have unequivocally violated UN Security Council resolutions 2139 & 2254, both of which categorically prohibit indiscriminate attacks, as well as violating the rules of international humanitarian law on distinguishing between civilians and fighters. Such attacks aim solely to spread fear and panic among civilians, and to drive them from their lands and homes, and forcibly displace them. It is estimated that 6.5 million people are currently internally displaced in Syria.
The international community must put pressure on the Syrian regime and its allies to compensate the displaced victims, repair the damaged homes and civilian facilities, and support a process of political transition. Pressure should be applied on all parties to compel them to launch such a transition within a period of no more than six months, so that millions of displaced people can safely and stably return to their homes.